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Mr. Tspiras Tries to Blackmail Europe

Now Greece acts as Putin’s and Russia’s Trojan horse.

Credit: Blömke/Kosinsky/Tschöpe - Wikimedia Commons

Takeaways


  • The political and moral bankruptcy of the new Greek government must now be considered a fact of life.
  • Alexis Tsipras’s apparent wish not to want to endorse more sanctions against Russia stabs the EU in the back.
  • Tsipras is prepared to serve as a Trojan horse for Putin's interests in the EU and ultimately in NATO.
  • The legitimacy of Greece’s membership in the Eurozone, the EU and the Western defense alliance is now in question.

Greece’s looming bankruptcy has been prevented so far, thanks to the injection of a lot of money from other EU partner countries. But the political and moral bankruptcy of the new Greek government must now be considered a fact of life.

Perhaps one could still dismiss the indirect threat of infusing terrorists into Europe, made by the right-wing Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, as the delusions of a loose-cannon nationalist.

However, now Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s new leading light, has given an interview to the Russian news agency Tass by itself, which can only be understood as deliberately hollowing out not just the foundations of Western security architecture, but of fundamental Western values in their sum total.

Alexis Tsipras’s apparent wish not to want to endorse more sanctions against Russia not only stabs the EU in the back. For him, this is also about far more than the resumption of Greek fruit exports to Russia or discounts for Russian gas supplies. He envisions a strategic alliance with Putin’s empire, founded on the alleged basis of shared historical values.

Putin’s Trojan Horse

“Our countries look back on a brilliant past of common struggle, so we can also have a wonderful future together,” said Tsipras. Even for a young prime minister, Tsipras establishes outrageous analogies that show he is either unaware of historic events or simply prepared to generously overlook one crucial “detail” or another.

Consider, for example, the fact that it certainly isn’t just Russians and Greeks that “paid the largest death toll in World War II.”

Never mind the callous disregard for the ambitions of a democratic Ukraine, which the Greek Prime Minister is evidently prepared to stab in the back. There is no other way to interpret his willingness to put EU sanctions against Moscow not only in question, but announce his country’s resistance to them.

At a time when, in full view of Russian militarism, nothing is more important than embracing the inviolability of common European values and laws, Mr. Tspiras bids that solidarity adieu. He is prepared to serve as a Trojan horse for Putin’s interests in the EU and ultimately in NATO.

Political blackmail?

It could well be that this is just another attempt at blackmailing his Western partners. However, his latest moves are definitely a bridge too far. Tspiras has gone beyond any rational limit. In his slash and burn approach, he seems to know no limits.

Under such circumstances, he is not just questioning the legitimacy of Greece’s membership in the Eurozone, but in both the EU and the Western defense alliance.

Mind you, this from the very man who has tried to make the claim for “European solidarity” the trademark of his prime ministership. Mr. Tsipras’s preferred approach, as head of government, seems to be to call for the solidarity of Greece’s European partners in a very one-sided fashion, all the while he has an explosive belt tied around his waist.

It takes no great political foresight to recognize that there can be no common future on such a basis and with such a man and government.

None of which even addresses the completely naive notion embraced by Mr. Tspiras that, of all possible partners in the world, the economically battered and socially morose Russia would be able to point out to Greece the path to a “bright future.”

Editor’s Note: Adapted from a German-language version published in Cicero.

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About Alexander Marguier

Alexander Marguier is deputy editor of Cicero, the German-language magazine on political culture based in Berlin.

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